Less power, more education
He is advocating for equality among the classes. There is no social distinction for the students. Illich talks about how the United States has the upper hand because of it early industrialization. He sees faults in it as well; “It is no social distinction I the U.S. to have graduated from your second year of college” (pg. 4). He sees the situation in Latin America is very different. He states that 3/4ths of people drop out of school before the 6h grade and people that finish high school are part of a minority. Then that minority becomes a minority to get a college education. He believes that only those people are “equals among education” (pg. 4). Illich is angry because he believes that people are trying to understand what goes on in other countries rather than knowing the facts. If we were to just know the facts then we would be more understanding but instead people give pity rather than to know.
“I am here to suggest that you voluntarily renounce exercising the power which being an American gives you.” (pg. 5). This quote had a lot of meaning to me. Initially to think of giving up what makes me an American almost angered me. These are my rights and I am very proud to be in a country that allows me to have them. As I read, I realized that I would be giving it up to do good. With my community partners I do feel a sense of powerlessness because I cannot give the kids endless amounts of money, all the knowledge in the world, or even a big beautiful home to go home to. I am just there to help them with homework, and I wish there was more I could do. Then again, me helping these students helps them reach any goal that they have in mind. I could help them with their homework so that they can go to college and succeed and get a great job that they love so they can then provide for their families.
I have learned a lot of things from my community partners about how to work well with the students. one of the first things I remember them telling me was to have fun with the kids. When the kids get out of school they have free play and during that time the kids will get to play outside and they love to talk to new people so it was easy to feel welcome around them. When making these relationships on the playground with the kids, I am making a deeper connection with them when it gets time to work on homework. Every time I get a student to work with, the leader will give me a briefing on how well the students works with the agenda for the day. My personal relationship with the kids helps me work with them during homework time. I know them outside the classroom and in. When helping them with homework they always want an easy way out but I push them as much as I can to show them that if they work a little harder for 5 more minutes then, they are helping themselves work toward their own goal; whether they know their goal or not. “A green banana is waiting for each of them, they’re at the center of the world” (pg. 3). This quote represents, I feel, what I am trying to do for the kids I help. I want to show them the banana tree and help them get to every possible point I can help them with, so that they can then choose their path.